Everyone knows exercise is good for them... Doing it? That's another thing.
You've heard it... That little voice inside you that says, "I'll do that tomorrow. Or the day after -- maybe." or how about the timeless "I don't have time for this right now!" What you need, my friend, is the most elusive concept when you first begin working out: motivation. And it's a tricky one. Here are some tips to get started:
Start by making a small daily commitment.
It doesn't have to be much; just 30 minutes a day makes a huge difference. Start low and build slow! Don't be embarrassed, ashamed, or afraid to start small... everyone starts somewhere and in the beginning, it's more about building the habit and pushing yourself just enough to feel the burn rather than push yourself to the max.
Have a positive attitude!
Start each day with affirmations. It seems silly but they really do work! When you have positive thoughts towards yourself, you tend to perform better throughout the day and feel more confident. Try psyching yourself up for the gym or try the tried and true "If I go to the gym today, I can get sushi for lunch tomorrow" or "If I push myself today then I can binge-watch Love is Blind this weekend"
Set your goals
Again, start low and build slow. A great beginning goal is 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity OR 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity. This standard is set by the American Heart Association for Physical Activity in Adults.
Training for a 5K or a marathon? Work towards building cardio and endurance rather than strength. Working towards a weight loss goal? Remember that food is fuel and consistency is key!
Create a specific plan that holds you accountable for your goal! And make sure you have a contingency plan for bad weather, unscheduled meetings, or any hurdles life throws your way.
Make your workout fun
Try something new! Don’t confine yourself to only lifting weights or running. Working out shouldn’t feel like a chore. Try cardio kickboxing, yoga, indoor rock climbing or tai chi to mix things up. Joining a sport or club could help hold you accountable and make the experience less dreadful. Try wearing a fitness tracker. Monitoring your steps taken and calories burned may help with exercise motivation and working towards getting those little achievements can make you feel accomplished!
Embrace your competitive side
You don’t have to compete against someone else, you can compete with yourself. For example, if you run a mile today, try to beat yourself and run an additional quarter of a mile tomorrow. Struggling to even run a mile? Try running a quarter-mile, walking a quarter-mile, and repeating until you can't run, let alone walk anymore! Check-in with yourself every few months and remember how far you've come!
Life happens! You're going to miss a day or two. If you accept that there will be some side steps on your fitness journey, you’ll be better prepared mentally to deal with setbacks. Don’t let a misstep be an excuse for giving up.
Beyond your "summer bod" goals or the amazing feeling you get from accomplishments, exercise is a whole-body wellness plan. Exercising considerably improves your brain, psychological health and stimulates your immune system.
What better way to be your best self then to take care of your whole self?